Punks party at Monteparadiso

Happy New Year

This weekend in Pula saw the coming together of punks from across Europe to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Monteparadiso Hardcore punk Festival and to celebrate there own unique New year . It was said many years ago that punks do not celebrate on 31.12 each year and instead they celebrate a new year at each coming and passing of this, The “Monte Paradiso” Hardcore punk Festival and with many of the bands wishing us all happy new year that tradition continues

The Beginning

It all began in the summer of 1992 when a few kids who wanted to listen to hardcore punk without any hassle squatted in the abandoned fort Casoni Vecchi in the neighbourhood of Monte Paradiso. Within a few years the festival became a firm favourite with punks across Europe and during the 25 years over 250 punk bands from across the world have played the festival. The first two bands to play on Saturday night were Fonija from Macedonia and Herida Profunda from Poland.

Expanding

In 1999 the festival moved to a larger premises, the ex military barracks of Karlo Rojc that offered all amenities and the attendance quickly rose from a few hundred to a few thousand. It is now one of the longest lasting DIY hardcore Punk festivals in Europe. This year there were 21 bands from 14 countries in total playing over the 3 days. Many of the travelling fans camped in the grounds of “Rojc” or stayed locally in camper vans. There was a relaxed and chilled atmosphere amongst all of them throughout the 3 days, many just sitting back with a few beers, music ,friends and enjoying the sunshine but very lively at night when it was time to party.

The Music

Choix from Russia were soon jumping for joy at playing to the lively Pula crowd. They really set the tone for the rest of the night with a dynamic set of pure hardcore punk.Over the 25 years since its inauguration the festival has stayed true to its initial concept and values.

The Hardcore Punk Festival

This is not a festival that strives for huge monetary success or any commercialism, if it did then they would have failed. Instead it continues to grow in popularity by offering good music, correctly priced food, free showers, free wi-fi and free camping. It is evident that any profit made is ploughed straight back into making next years event as good ,if not better than this one.

The Bands

As well as legendary Punk bands the festival takes pride in sharing the stage with unknown and promising new younger bands. The Slovakian band Beton with Martin Hades on lead vocals were next to play. They offered some mesmerising guitar solos from Dolivan Bramborik.

Crowd surfing at the Punks Party

The crowd were rocking and partying like only punks do. Directly in front of the stage was the main action area. People were hoisted in the air and carried to the front and then thrown on stage and the first of the nights much loved crowd surfing began and it has to be noted , they didn’t spill the beer, at least not en route.

A new Scar

Between sets the bands ,along with volunteers help each other quickly and efficiently move the equipment and a sound check is done. Next to entertain the crowd were A new Scar from Italy with Dezo on lead guitar and vocals , this guy just loves to shred the guitar. With Don Diego on base and Bone on drums they offered another full on explosive hardcore punk set.

Doom

Fresh from having played in Venice the night before and having to endure a 7 hour car journey to get here next to take the stage were English band Doom. Having started 30 years ago they played many of the crowds favourites including Police xxxx which went down exceptional well. They followed this up with tracks from “They Love (fear) Death” and there latest EP “Corrupt..xxxx System”

With Denis Boardman on lead vocals, Bri on guitar, Stick on drums and Scoot on bass the band who describe their music as punk / hardcore / crust / d-beat served up an outstanding set and partied long into the night despite having to catch the red eye flight back to Blighty on Sunday morning.

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Oi Polloi

The final band to play and to close this great Punk festival were the very popular Anarcho – Punk band Oi Polloi from Edinburgh. The songs carried strong political messages and were introduced with an explanation, meaning and purpose. Oh, and also mentioning that they like whisky and sing better with it.

As well as singing in English they did a track in there native language Gaelic.There were songs of political unrest, refugees, human rights, animal rights, anti state, anti government , anti fascist, pro cannabis, gay rights ,and Brexit. They even wrote and performed in Croatian ,an anti Croatian government song written specifically for the event. This was unbelievable well received and the audience were quickly reciting the chorus, which cant be repeated here.

Punks Party and Fireworks

In true punk and anarchy form the crowd got rowdier and rowdier as the night progressed. There was plenty of crowd surfacing and more and more people on the stage. Toward the end of the Oi Polloi set the stage was full of people, and yet the band continued to play and they thrived on it.

Loved It

You may or may not like Punk music , but the love , passion and dedication these guys put in is there for all to see. There are no rodees to set the stage up between acts , no PR people to do there talking , and nobody to hold there hands when they meet a fan. They party with the crowd, rock on stage and then party with the crowd. There musical abilities are 2nd to none .To be able to play at that tempo for so long is quite a feat, to be able to do it when the stage has been invaded and there are 10 to 20 unknown people, air guitaring, singing with spare mics , and crowd surfing takes some doing and is truly admirable. Well done you have my utmost respect.

Published Media Outlet 

A version of this article first appeared on 08.08.17  for Total Croatia News.

Published article

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